Liverpool set to beat Manchester United to sign 'the new Kalidou Koulibaly' for £60m: report

Liverpool and Manchester United are competing for a centre-back: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reacts prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC at Anfield on February 13, 2023 in Liverpool, England.
(Image credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Liverpool are looking like beating Manchester United to a centre-back dubbed 'the new Kalidou Koulibaly'. 

Both northwest rivals are looking at improving their backlines following defensive frailties this season. Liverpool have been leaning heavily on Virgil van Dijk, while Manchester United have relied almost entirely on Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in defence, with very little cover beyond that. 

One target has emerged for both, however, with the Reds in pole position over the Red Devils in the race for a signature. 

According to Italian journalist Ciro Venerato of Rai, Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae is on the radar for Premier League clubs – and Liverpool are ready to pay over £60 million for his services.

Kim was signed from Fenerbahce for a modest sum last summer as the replacement for Chelsea-bound Kalidou Koulibaly. The South Korean international has shone in Serie A, however, leading Napoli to an unlikely title charge and winning plaudits for his style. 

Kim Min-Jae

Kim Min-Jae has been a revelation in Serie A (Image credit: Getty Images)

Napoli have a reputation for driving a hard bargain as a selling club, however. With Victor Osimhen said to be interesting United and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia enjoying a break-out season, it would take a mammoth figure to tempt Kim away from the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Kim is valued at €50m by Transfermarkt

More Liverpool and Manchester United stories

Jurgen Klopp has addressed the "clear need" for a Liverpool rebuild this summer – and reports suggest there could be a lot of money spent.

Josko Gvardiol is a top target, with Mason Mount on the wishlist, too. Seven other players are in the summer plans, with an eye on the future as well. A player dubbed "the next Luka Modric" could be targeted, while Benfica's latest starlet Florentino Luis is being considered. 15-year-old Kendry Paez is also being linked

Manchester United are looking to capitalise on their resurgence in the transfer market, with big new signings. Victor Osimhen is one option for €100m, Declan Rice is on the radar and Jeremie Frimpong could arrive as a new right-back. More outlandish theories include signing Kylian Mbappe and selling Marcus Rashford to Arsenal

The Glazer ownership are not guaranteed to sell up – despite bids from lifelong fan, Sir Jim Radcliffe and Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani. Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford has underlined the importance of positive mentality at Old Trafford. 

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.